Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bill Clinton Excuses Byrd's KKK Ties

Former President Bill Clinton excused Robert Byrd's ties to the Ku Klux Klan while speaking at his funeral in West Virginia today.

The former President said that Byrd's association with the Klan was "fleeting." It's a dubious description when you consider that Byrd recruited others to join the Klan.

He also said Byrd only joined the Klan because "he was trying to get elected." Couldn't the same argument be made of Strom Thurmond when he embraced segregation during his bid for the White House in 1948? While never a member of the Klan, Thurmond's turn to segregation came after he had opposed lynching while Governor of South Carolina. Thus it could be argued that Thurmond's embrace of segregationism was born of opportunism every bit as much Byrd's membership in the Klan.

If Clinton wants to forgive Byrd then fine. But then he should be prepared to extend the same forgiveness to Thurmond. This is the main point of my most recent article on the IC main page.

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